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SsangYong overview

The history of SsangYong cars dates back to the 1950s. First established in Japan as Ha Dong-Hwan Motor workshop, production started in 1954. Covering all manner of large vehicles, from buses to trucks and other special-purpose models. In 1963, it merged with Dongbang Motor Co to create Ha Dong-Hwan Motor Co.

More than a decade later, its owners co-founded Shinjin Jeep. Shinjin Jeep developed both hard and soft top jeeps. In 1977, the brand underwent another name change, to Dong-A-Motor. In 1986, two years after aquiring Keohwa Ltd which was another jeep manufacturer, the SsangYong Group took over. From then on, all vehicles sported SsangYong branding – pronounced ‘sang.yong’.

The SsangYong Group was establishing itself as a manufacturing business in the North Gyeongsang Province of South Korea in 1939. Spearheaded by Kim Sung-kon. It was his son, Kim Suk-won, who held a deep interest in cars. It was Kim Suk-won who ended up overseeing the company’s entry into the automotive industry.

In 1987, Ssangyong acquires Panther Westwinds, a UK-based manufacturer. In 1994, the brand enters the UK marketplace in 1994 with the launch of the Musso SUV. The Musso was SsangYong’s first vehicle to use Mercedes-Benz technology. after the Korean and German manufacturers forged a working partnership in 1991.

In 1997, Daewoo purchases a majority stake in SsangYong. This saw some vehicles in its range rebranded. In 2000, Daewoo sold the shares, and in 2001, the Daewoo branding was dropped from SsangYong cars. After many other ownership takeovers, including by the Chinese state-owned SAIC Motor and Indian giant Mahindra & Mahindra, SsangYong was purchased by the South Korean-based KG Group. During this time, Ssangyong rebranded to KG Mobility. Its future shaped around modern automotive technology including EVs, AI and autonomous vehicles.

Since they first reached the UK market in the early 2000s, SsangYong cars have had a reputation as reliable and affordable. The range has always included mid-sized or large SUVs, alongside a small range of luxury saloons. In recent years, Ssangyong has expanded its range of vehicles. A range of hybrid options are available in addition to the standard petrol and diesel engines. In 2022, the manufacturer also announced the first all-electric vehicle, the Korando e-Motion SUV.


Popular SsangYong models

The SsangYong Musso was both the manufacturer’s first car on the UK market, and its most popular. The powerful and reliable Musso Mk1 was offered with a range of Mercedes-Benz engines available. This was the first model which Ssangyong and Daimler-Benz collaborated on. A sports version of the model was manufactured and produced between 2002 and 2006. The pick-up version of the Musso was also launched in 2018.

The majority of popular SsangYong models in the UK are SUVs. Popular SUV models include the Rexton and the Korando. The Chairman is a unique offering from the South Korean manufacturer. The Chairman sits in the premium executive class and is built upon the Mercedes E-Class model. Offering drivers the same comfort, luxury and reliability as its German counterpart.

The SsangYong Rexton was first launched in 2001 and featured the Mercedes-Benz OM612 engine. It was introduced to the European market in 2003. The Mk2 arrived on the market in 2017. This version shares a number of components with its counterpart, the Musso. Specifically, its Advanced High Strength Steel body frame platform.

The Korando, meanwhile, is a model that is older than the SsangYong brand itself. First manufactured under the Keohwa brand, and then Dong-A-Motors, it is now in its fourth generation. Launched in 2019, the Mk4 came with petrol and diesel options. This model became the first all-electric SsangYong with its e-Motion iteration in 2022.


Manufacturer awards

As SsangYong’s flagship vehicle in the UK, the Musso is its leader in garnering awards. It won 4x4 Magazine’s Best Value 4x4 in 2023 for the sixth consecutive year, while in 2022 it won Best Utility 4x4 at the Scottish Car of the Year awards.


SsangYong frequently asked questions


Who owns SsangYong?

As of 2023, SsangYong is owned by the KG Group and has been rebranded as KG Mobility. It has previously been at least part-owned by several other buyers since it was founded as Ha Dong-Hwan Motor workshop, including Daewoo and SAIC Motor.

Who makes SsangYong?

SsangYong cars were previously made by SsangYong, though in the early 2000s a number of its cars were rebranded to Daewoo, who owned SsangYong for a short period. As of 2023, SsangYong cars were made under the new brand name KG Mobility, owned by the KG Group.

Who is SsangYong Motors?

SsangYong Motors is a South Korean car manufacturer that rebranded to KG Mobility in 2023. SsangYong Motors was originally founded in 1954 as Ha Dong-Hwan Motor workshop, when it produced large vehicles such as trucks and buses. It merged with Dongbang Motor Co. in 1963 to establish Ha Dong-Hwan Motor Co. In 1986 it was acquired by SsangYong Group.

Where are SsangYong made?

SsangYong’s principal vehicle manufacturing plant is in the Gangnam district of Seoul, South Korea. The owner of SsangYong, as of 2023, is KG Mobility, and its principal manufacturing facility is the Pyeongtaek Plant in Pyeongtaek. This facility is capable of producing 250,000 vehicles per year.

How to pronounce SsangYong?

SsangYong is a Korean word, pronounced ‘sang.yong’ (IPA: sæŋjɔŋ). It translates to ‘double dragon’.

How reliable are SsangYong

SsangYong is considered both an affordable and reliable manufacturer, in part thanks to its ties to Mercedes-Benz. Its first car in the UK, the Musso, uses Mercedes-Benz technology after the Korean and German manufacturers partnered in 1991.


Whether you’re looking to finance a SsangYong or purchase one, we have a wide range of second-hand SsangYong cars available to buy online safely with Click & Collect and home delivery options available.

Click here to browse all our used SsangYong models.

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Representative example
Monthly Payment £228.37
Deposit £249
Term (Months) 42
Cash Price £11498
Credit Amount £11249.0
Completion Fee £1
Total Amount Payable £14,495
Fixed Interest Rate 5.6%
Representative APR 10.9%
Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (308092) for general insurance and consumer credit purposes. We act as a credit broker sourcing credit to assist with your purchase from a carefully selected panel of lenders. Lenders will pay us a fee for these introductions (click here for details including our panel of lenders and disclosure statement). Offers subject to status, terms and conditions.
* MPG figures are obtained in laboratory testing and intended for comparisons between vehicles. Please be aware they’re not intended to represent real world efficiency.